Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Suffering? Don't Waste It by Zoe M. McCarthy

Zoe M. McCarthy

As people in this fallen world, the reality is we will suffer.

Jesus made it clear. I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peac. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)

A dear friend who has suffered great losses always says, “You can choose to be bitter or better.” I think that reaction is a good beginning.

In a recent Bible study, I jotted this from the leader’s lecture:

“Don’t waste your suffering on how miserable you are, even in the worst circumstances. Ask yourself what you are doing with your suffering when it comes.”
Image by chezbeate
I think a writer who recognizes her vulnerability in dealing with her past hardships can depend on Christ’s power and use her suffering in her writing. With Christ’s help, she may boldly dredge up feelings from her past and use them to make a heroine’s feelings believable during her suffering.

Or possibly, like author Mary E. DeMuth, a writer can use her journey of suffering to write about her own or fictional harsh experiences to inform and to help others who are suffering.

Mary says, “I see my past as a dance floor for Jesus to dance on. Because I know my lack, I can only go to God’s strength to get to the next place that He’s calling me.”

Also, we can “pay forward” the comfort we have received in our suffering to comfort others in their sorrows.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)

Or we can rise above our suffering and become stronger people to do whatever God calls us to do. We can glorify God.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

I think the following true story is a great example of not wasting suffering.

Mama Kwong of Project Pearl Suffered Prison in China

While Mama Kwong sat in her cell, she received a message from the Lord. “This is to be your ministry.” She cried out, “How can I minister to anyone when I’m here alone in this cell.”

As she prayed about fulfillment of the message, she received an idea and called the guard. She asked him if she could do hard labor for him. She pointed out that the cells were filthy. If he would give her a brush and water she would clean the cells.

While she scrubbed muck from the cells, she preached Christ to wasted and tortured prisoners. When they understood they could have eternal life, they got excited and received hope. Soon all prisoners believed in Christ.

Mama Kwong did not waste her suffering and was imprisoned three times.

How have you found strength, and even joy, in the midst of suffering and let God use it for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

Don’t waste your suffering on how miserable you are. Click to tweet.

About the Author
Zoe M. McCarthy believes the little known fact that opposites distract. Thus, she spins Christian contemporary romances entangling extreme opposites. Her tagline is: Distraction to Attraction, Magnetic Romances Between Opposites. Now retired actuaries, Zoe and her husband evaluated the financial risks for insurance companies. Nick, in Zoe’s debut novel, Calculated Risk, is an actuary. Christian Fiction Online Magazine published two of her short stories. Zoe self-published two books of contemporary Christian short stories. She’s a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She enjoys leading workshops on the craft of writing; speaking about her faith; planning fun events for her 5 grandchildren; and exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains, where she lives with her husband, John.
Learn more about Zoe M. McCarthy at her website: http://zoemmccarthy.com

Calculated Risk

Calculated Risk
by Zoe M. McCarthy
What happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk…

Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympathetic colleague and his family. Nick LeCrone is a man too much her opposite to interest her and too mild-mannered to make her overbearing father’s “list.” Now, Cisney fears Nick wants to take advantage of her vulnerable state over the holiday. Boy, is she wrong.

Nick wants little to do with Cisney. She drives him crazy with all her sticky notes and quirks. He extended an invitation because he felt sorry for her. Now he’s stuck, and to make matters worse, his family thinks she’s his perfect match. He’ll do what he can to keep his distance, but there’s just one problem—he’s starting to believe Cisney’s magnetism is stronger than he can resist.

Purchase links for Calculated Risk: http://zoemmccarthy.com/books